Machinist Program Grant

WVC Foundation awarded $40,000 Alcoa grant for emerging machinist program

Media Contacts: Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.), or Stacey Lockhart, Foundation executive director, 509.682.6410, or Mary Watson, dean of workforce education, 509.682.6614

The Wenatchee Valley College Foundation has been awarded a $40,000 Alcoa Foundation grant for the purchase of equipment essential to a new machinist program currently in development at WVC, with a projected launch of fall 2014.

The grant will allow the foundation to purchase quality used lathes, mills and tooling for the machinist program. Students who receive training in this program will learn how to use precision measuring instruments, to manufacture close tolerance metal components, to read blueprints and diagrams, and operate manual and computer numerated control (CNC) manufacturing equipment. The program will prepare students for entry-level employment in a variety of environments, from high volume manufacturing to individual custom component manufacturing. Zack Jacobson, WVC Industrial Technology program director, is coordinating with the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Manufacturing to develop a curriculum for the machining program.

"We are pleased to be an industry partner of WVC's," says Jens Lee, public relations specialist at Alcoa Wenatchee Works. "We both have needs, and we need a workforce that is trained and able to be hired by Alcoa. WVC does an outstanding job in preparing their industrial technology students for our workforce and for many other employers throughout Central Washington."

WVC and Alcoa have maintained a twenty-year relationship. WVC alumni employed at Alcoa serve on the Industrial Technology Advisory Board, which serves as a sounding board when the college is developing curriculum for programs. Alcoa also allows WVC classes to take tours of the facility.

The Alcoa Foundation over the past three years has awarded the WVC Foundation $115,000 through three separate grants to enhance and expand the college's industrial technology program. The grants have allowed WVC to purchase seven separate pieces of equipment, tooling and software, including the first 3D printer in Central Washington, which is used in the WVC Digital Design program. Several companies such as Pacific Aerospace and Boeing have visited WVC to see how the 3D printer could enhance their operations before purchasing their own.